BRAIN WASHING Most people and Government Agencies do not want this information generally k

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BRAIN WASHING Most people and Government Agencies do not want this information generally known. Nor do the Born-Again Christian movement, cults, and many human-potential trainings. Everything I will relate only exposes the surface of the problem. I don't know how the misuse of these techniques can be stopped. I don't think it is possible to legislate against that which often cannot be detected; and if those who legislate are using these techniques, there is little hope of affecting laws to govern usage. I do know that the first step to initiate change is to generate interest. In this case, that will probably only result from an underground effort. So, to begin, I want to state the most basic of all facts about brainwashing: IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF MAN, NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN BRAINWASHED AND REALIZED, OR BELIEVED, THAT HE HAD BEEN BRAINWASHED. Those who have been brainwashed will usually passionately defend their manipulators, claiming they have simply been "shown the light" . . . or have been transformed in miraculous ways. The Birth of Conversion CONVERSION is a "nice" word for BRAINWASHING . . . and any study of brainwashing has to begin with a study of Christian revivalism in eighteenth century America. Apparently, Jonathan Edwards accidentally discovered the techniques during a religious crusade in 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. By inducing guilt and acute apprehension and by increasing the tension, the "sinners" attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit. Technically, what Edwards was doing was creating conditions that wipe the brain slate clean so that the mind accepts new programming. The problem was that the new input was negative. He would tell them, "You're a sinner! You're destined for hell!" As a result, one person committed suicide and another attempted suicide. And the neighbors of the suicidal converts related that they, too, were affected so deeply that, although they had found "eternal salvation," they were obsessed with a diabolical temptation to end their own lives. Once a preacher, cult leader, manipulator or authority figure creates the brain phase to wipe the brain-slate clean, his subjects are wide open. New input, in the form of suggestion, can be substituted for their previous ideas. Because Edwards didn't turn his message positive until the end of the revival, many accepted the negative suggestions and acted, or desired to act, upon them. Charles J. Finney was another Christian revivalist who used the same techniques four years later in mass religious conversions in New York. The techniques are still being used today by Christian revivalists, cults, human-potential trainings, some business rallies, and the United States Armed Services . . . to name just a few. Let me point out here that I don't think most revivalist preachers realize or know they are using brainwashing techniques. Edwards simply stumbled upon a technique that really worked, and others copied it and have continued to copy it for over two hundred years. And the more sophisticated our knowledge and technology become, the more effective the conversion. I feel strongly that this is one of the major reasons for the increasing rise in Christian fundamentalism, especially the televised variety, while most of the orthodox religions are declining. The Three Brain Phases The Christians may have been the first to successfully formulate brainwashing, but we have to look to Pavlov, the Russian scientist, for a technical explanation. In the early 1900s, his work with animals opened the door to further investigations with humans. After the revolution in Russia, Lenin was quick to see the potential of applying Pavlov's research to his own ends. Three distinct and progressive states of transmarginal inhibition were identified by Pavlov. The first is the EQUIVALENT phase, in which the brain gives the same response to both strong and weak stimuli. The second is the PARADOXICAL phase, in which the brain responds more actively to weak stimuli than to strong. And the third is the ULTRA-PARADOXICAL phase, in which conditioned responses and behavior patterns turn from positive to negative or from negative to positive. With the progression through each phase, the degree of conversion becomes more effective and complete. The way to achieve conversion are many and varied, but the usual first step in religious or political brainwashing is to work on the emotions of an individual or group until they reach an abnormal level of anger, fear, exitement, or nervous tension. The progressive result of this mental condition is to impair judgement and increase suggestibility. The more this condition can be maintained or intensified, the more it compounds. Once catharsis, or the first brain phase, is reached, the complete mental takeover becomes easier. Existing mental programming can be replaced with new patterns of thinking and behavior. Other often-used physiological weapons to modify normal brain functions are fasting, radical or high sugar diets, physical discomforts, regulation of breathing, mantra chanting in meditation, the disclosure of awesome mysteries, special lighting and sound effects, programmed response to incense, or intoxicating drugs. The same results can be obtained in contemporary psychiatric treatment by electric shock treatments and even by purposely lowering a person's blood sugar level with insulin injections. Before I talk about exactly how some of the techniques are applied, I want to point out that hypnosis and conversion tactics are two distinctly different things--and that conversion techniques are far more powerful. However, the two are often mixed . . . with powerful results. How Revivalist Preachers Work If you'd like to see a revivalist preacher at work, there are probably several in your city. Go to the church or tent early and sit in the rear, about three-quarters of the way back. Most likely repetitive music will be played while the people come in for the service. A repetitive beat, ideally ranging from 45 to 72 beats per minute (a rhythm close to the beat of the human heart), is very hypnotic and can generate an eyes-open altered state of consciousness in a very high percentage of people. And, once you are in an alpha state, you are at least 25 times as suggestible as you would be in full beta consciousness. The music is probably the same for every service, or incorporates the same beat, and many of the people will go into an altered state almost immediately upon entering the sanctuary. Subconsciously, they recall their state of mind from previous services and respond according to the post-hypnotic programming. Watch the people waiting for the service to begin. Many will exhibit external signs of trance--body relaxation and slightly dilated eyes. Often, they begin swaying back and forth with their hands in the air while sitting in their chairs. Next, the assistant pastor will probably come out. He usually speaks with a pretty good "voice roll." Voice Roll Technique A "voice roll" is a patterned, paced style used by hypnotists when inducing a trance. It is also used by many lawyers, several of whom are highly trained hypnotists, when they desire to entrench a point firmly in the minds of the jurors. A voice roll can sound as if the speaker were talking to the beat of a metronome or it may sound as though he were emphasizing every word in a monotonous, patterned style. The words will usually be delivered at the rate of 45 to 60 beats per minute, maximizing the hypnotic effect. Now the assistant pastor begins the "build-up" process. He induces an altered state of consciousness and/or begins to generate the excitement and the expectations of the audience. Next, a group of young women in "sweet and pure" chiffon dresses might come out to sing a song. Gospel songs are great for building excitement and INVOLVEMENT. In the middle of the song, one of the girls might be "smitten by the spirit" and fall down or react as if possessed by the Holy Spirit. This very effectively increases the intensity in the room. At this point, hypnosis and conversion tactics are being mixed. And the result is the audience's attention span is now totally focused upon the communication while the environment becomes more exciting or tense. Right about this time, when an eyes-open mass-induced alpha mental state has been achieved, they will usually pass the collection plate or basket. In the background, a 45-beat-per-minute voice roll from the assistant preacher might exhort, "Give to God . . . Give to God . . . Give to God . . ." And the audience does give. God may not get the money, but his already wealthy representative will. Next, the fire-and-brimstone preacher will come out. He induces fear and increases the tension by talking about "the devil," "going to hell," or the forthcoming Armegeddon. In the last such rally I attended, the preacher talked about the blood that would soon be running out of every faucet in the land. He was also obsessed with a "bloody axe of God," which everyone had seen hanging above the pulpit the previous week. I have no doubt that everyone saw it--the power of suggestion given to hundreds of people in hypnosis assures that at least 10 to 25 percent would see whatever he suggested they see. In most revivalist gatherings, "testifying" or "witnessing" usually follows the fear-based sermon. People from the audience come up on stage and relate their stories. "I was crippled and now I can walk!" "I had arthritis and now it's gone!" It is a psychological manipulation that works. After listening to numerous case histories of miraculous healings, the average guy in the audience with a minor problem is sure he can be healed. The room is charged with fear, guilt, intense excitement, and expectations. Now those who want to be healed are frequently lined up around the edge of the room, or they are told to come down to the front. The preacher might touch them on the head firmly and scream, "Be healed!" This releases the psychic energy and, for many, catharsis results. Catharsis is a purging of repressed emotions. Individuals might cry, fall down or even go into spasms. And if catharsis is effected, they stand a chance of being healed. In catharsis (one of the three brain phases mentioned earlier), the brain-slate is temporarily wiped clean and the new suggestion is accepted. For some, the healing may be permanent. For many, it will last four days to a week, which is, incidentally, how long a hypnotic suggestion given to a somnambulistic subject will usually last. Even if the healing doesn't last, if they come back every week, the power of suggestion may continually override the problem . . . or sometimes, sadly, it can mask a physical problem which could prove to be very detrimental to the individule in the long run. I'm not saying that legitimate healings do not take place. They do. Maybe the individual was ready to let go of the negativity that caused the problem in the first place; maybe it was the work of God. Yet I contend that it can be explained with existing knowledge of brain/mind function. The techniques and staging will vary from church to church. Many use "speaking in tongues" to generate catharsis in some while the spectacle creates intense excitement in the observers. The use of hypnotic techniques by religions is sophisticated, and professionals are assuring that they become even more effective. A man in Los Angeles is designing, building, and reworking a lot of churches around the country. He tells ministers what they need and how to use it. This man's track record indicates that the congregation and the monetary income will double if the minister follows his instructions. He admits that about 80 percent of his efforts are in the sound system and lighting. Powerful sound and the proper use of lighting are of primary importance in inducing an altered state of consciousnes--I've been using them for years in my own seminars. However, my participants are fully aware of the process and what they can expect as a result of their participation. Alright. Now, let's look at the second tip-off that indicates conversion tactics are being used. A schedule is maintained that causes physical and mental fatigue. This is primarily accomplished by long hours in which the participants are given no opportunity for relaxation or reflection. The third tip-off: techniques used to increase the tension in the room or environment. Number four: Uncertainty. I could spend hours relating various techniques to increase tension and generate uncertainty. Basically, the participants are concerned about being "put on the spot" or encountered by the trainers, guilt feelings are played upon, participants are tempted to verbally relate their innermost secrets to the other participants or forced to take part in activities that emphasize removing their masks. They literally go into an alpha state, which automatically makes them many times as suggestible as they normally are. And another loop of the downward spiral into conversion is successfully effected. The fifth clue that conversion tactics are being used is the introduction of jargon--new terms that have meaning only to the "insiders" who participate. Vicious language is also frequently used, purposely, to make participants uncomfortable. The final tip-off is that there is no humor in the communications . . . at least until the participants are converted. Then, merry-making and humor are highly desirable as symbols of the new joy the participants have supposedly "found." I'm not saying that good does not result from participation in such gatherings. It can and does. But I contend it is important for people to know what has happened and to be aware that continual involvement may not be in their best interest. Cult gatherings or human-potential trainings are an ideal environment to observe first-hand what is technically called the "Stockholm Syndrome." This is a situation in which those who are intimidated, controlled, or made to suffer, begin to love, admire, and even sometimes sexually desire their controllers or captors. But let me inject a word of warning here: If you think you can attend such gatherings and not be affected, you are probably wrong. A perfect example is the case of a woman who went to Haiti on a Guggenheim Fellowship to study Haitian Voodoo. In her report, she related how the music eventually induced uncontrollable bodily movement and an altered state of consciousness. Although she understood the process and thought herself above it, when she began to feel herself become vulnerable to the music, she attempted to fight it and turned away. Anger or resistance almost always assures conversion. A few moments later she was possessed by the music and began dancing in a trance around the Voodoo meeting house. A brain phase had been induced by the music and excitement, and she awoke feeling reborn.The only hope of attending such gatherings without being affected is to be a Buddha and allow no positive or negative emotions to surface. Few people are capable of such detachment. Decognition Process Once the initial conversion is effected, cults, armed services, and similar groups cannot have cynicism among their members. Members must respond to commands and do as they are told, otherwise they are dangerous to the organizational control. This is normally accomplished as a three-step Decognition Process. Step One is ALERTNESS REDUCTION: The controllers cause the nervous system to malfunction, making it difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality. This can be accomplished in several ways. POOR DIET is one; watch out for Brownies and Koolaid. The sugar throws the nervous system off. More subtle is the "SPIRITUAL DIET" used by many cults. They eat only vegetables and fruits; without the grounding of grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, fish or meat, an individual becomes mentally "spacey." INADEQUATE SLEEP is another primary way to reduce alertness, especially when combined with long hours of work or intense physical activity. Also, being bombarded with intense and unique experiences achieves the same result. Step Two is PROGRAMMED CONFUSION: You are mentally assaulted while your alertness is being reduced as in Step One. This is accomplished with a deluge of new information, lectures, discussion groups, encounters or one-to-one processing, which usually amounts to the controller bombarding the individual with questions. During this phase of decognition, reality and illusion often merge and perverted logic is likely to be accepted. Step Three is THOUGHT STOPPING: Techniques are used to cause the mind to go "flat." These a re altered-state-of- consciousness techniques that initially induce calmness by giving the mind something simple to deal with and focusing awareness. The continued use brings on a feeling of elation and eventually hallucination. The result is the reduction of thought and eventually, if used long enough, the cessation of all thought and withdrawal from everyone and everything except that which the controllers direct. The takeover is then complete. It is important to be aware that when members or participants are instructed to use "thought-stopping" techniques, they are told that they will benefit by so doing: they will become "better soldiers" or "find enlightenment." There are three primary techniques used for thought stopping. The first is MARCHING: the thump, thump, thump beat literally generates self-hypnosis and thus great susceptibility to suggestion. The second thought stopping technique is MEDITATION. If you spend an hour to an hour and a half a day in meditation, after a few weeks, there is a great probability that you will not return to full beta consciousness. You will remain in a fixed state of alpha for as long as you continue to meditate. I'm not saying this is bad--if you do it yourself. It may be very beneficial. But it is a fact that you are causing your mind to go flat. I've worked with meditators on an EEG machine and the results are conclusive: the more you meditate, the flatter your mind becomes until, eventually and especially if used to excess or in combination with decognition, all thought ceases. Some spiritual groups see this as nirvana--which is bullshit. It is simply a predictable physiological result. And if heaven on earth is non-thinking and non-involvement, I really question why we are here. The third thought-stopping technique is CHANTING, and often chanting in meditation. "Speaking in tongues" could also be included in this category. All three stopping techniques produce an altered state of consciousness. This may be very good if YOU are controlling the process, for you also control the input. But you need to know if you use these techniques to the degree of remaining continually in alpha that, although you'll be very mellow, you'll also be more suggestible. True Believers & Mass Movements Before ending this section on conversion, I want to talk about the people who are most susceptible to it and about Mass Movements. I am convinced that at least a third of the population is what Eric Hoffer calls "true believers." They are joiners and followers . . . people who want to give away their power. They look for answers, meaning, and enlightenment outside themselves. Hoffer, who wrote THE TRUE BELIEVER, a classic on mass movements, says, "true believers are not intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but are those craving to be rid of unwanted self. They are followers, not because of a desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy their passion for self-renunciation!" Hoffer also says that true believers "are eternally incomplete and eternally insecure"! I know this from my own experience. I have run into them again and again. All I can do is attempt to show them that the only thing to seek is the True Self within. Their personal answers are to be found there and there alone. I communicate that the basics of spirituality are self-responsibility and self-actualization. But most of the true believers just tell me that I'm not spiritual and go looking for someone who will give them the dogma and structure they desire. Never underestimate the potential danger of these people. They can easily be molded into fanatics who will gladly work and die for their holy cause. It is a substitute for their lost faith in themselves and offers them as a substitute for individual hope. The Moral Majority is made up of true believers. All cults are composed of true believers. You'll find them in politics, churches, businesses, and social cause groups. They are the fanatics in these organizations. Mass Movements will usually have a charismatic leader. The followers want to convert others to their way of living or impose a new way of life--if necessary, by legislating laws forcing others to their view, as evidenced by the activities of the Moral Majority.This means enforcement by guns or punishment, for that is the bottomline in law enforcement. A common hatred, enemy, or devil is essential to the success of a mass movement. The Born-Again Christians have Satan himself, but that isn't enough--they've added the occult, the New Age thinkers and, lately, all those who oppose their integration of church and politics, as evidenced in their political reelection campaigns against those who oppose their views. In revolutions, the devil is usually the ruling power or aristocracy. Some human-potential movements are far too clever to ask their graduates to join anything, thus labeling themselves as a cult--but, if you look closely, you'll find that their devil is anyone and everyone who hasn't taken their training. There are mass movements without devils but they seldom attain major status. The True Believers are mentally unbalanced or insecure people, or those without hope or friends. People don't look for allies when they love, but they do when they hate or become obsessed with a cause. And those who desire a new life and a new order feel the old ways must be eliminated before the new order can be built. The Hare Krishnas, operating in every airport, use what I call SHOCK AND CONFUSION techniques to distract the left brain and communicate directly with the right brain. While waiting for a plane, I once watched one operate for over an hour. He had a technique of almost jumping in front of someone. Initially, his voice was loud then dropped as he made his pitch to take a book and contribute money to the cause. Usually, when people are shocked, they immediately withdraw. In this case they were shocked by the strange appearance, sudden materialization and loud voice of the Hare Krishna devotee. In other words, the people went into an alpha state for security because they didn't want to confront the reality before them. In alpha, they were highly suggestible so they responded to the suggestion of taking the book; the moment they took the book, they felt guilty and responded to the second suggestion: give money. We are all conditioned that if someone gives us something, we have to give them something in return--in that case, it was money. While watching this hustler, I was close enough to notice that many of the people he stopped exhibited an outward sign of alpha--their eyes were actually dilated.

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